ASA Founder Elected First President of Northeast Regional Association for Coastal Ocean Observing Systems

NARRAGANSETT, RI – Malcolm Spaulding, ASA’s Chairman and founder, professor of ocean engineering, and director of the Center of Excellence in Undersea Technology at the University of Rhode Island, was elected the first president of the Northeast Regional Association for Coastal Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS).

NERACOOS was established to network and expand the existing observation and prediction capacities of multiple institutions and agencies throughout New England and Maritime Canada. NERACOOS is one of eleven U.S. regional associations developed to support NOAA’s comprehensive IOOS program (U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System) to ensure the sustained observation of the nation’s coastal oceans. The region includes the coastal waters of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

NERACOOS, like IOOS, plays a vital role in tracking, predicting, managing, and adapting to changes in the coastal and ocean environment.  A primary responsibility is to prioritize and appropriately allocate federal funding from NOAA to entities in the region for ocean observing and development.
As the first president of NERACOOS, Spaulding’s leadership focus will be on establishing the organization, including the creation of working groups and a stakeholder council to guide the development and implementation of a strategic plan. Spaulding has already proposed a major regional and national initiative to provide meteorological and oceanographic data in support of offshore renewable energy development from tidal currents, waves, and offshore winds.

“Fisheries managers, water quality specialists, researchers, mariners, the Coast Guard, coastal land managers, and many others benefit from accurate and timely ocean observing infrastructure and related decision support tools that effectively interpret data,” Spaulding said. “Ultimately, this increased capacity leads to safer maritime commerce and improved natural resource management.”

Spaulding was nominated to the 18-member board of NERACOOS by the Northeast Regional Ocean Council and represents the state of Rhode Island. The council is a state and federal partnership with a goal of engaging in regional protection and balanced use of ocean and coastal resources.

Spaulding also serves as the senior advisor to Rhode Island?s Ocean Special Area Management Plan, which was initiated in August 2008 to assist in the siting of offshore renewable energy facilities in the state’s coastal waters.

Contact Lee Dooley by e-mail [email protected] or by phone +1 401-789-6224 for more information.

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